KABUL, Afghanistan - A local Afghan leader says coalition forces shot and killed civilians on Thursday night, a claim disputed by the NATO-led force in Afghanistan.
Nasrutullah Arsala, head of the provincial council of Nangahar province, told CNN on Friday that troops killed nine civilians in Kushkak, a village in the Surkh Rod district of Nangahar, in eastern Afghanistan.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said Afghan and international troops traded fire with insurgents during an operation in Surkh Rod that left a Taliban sub-commander and other militants dead. The NATO-led command says evidence shows that civilians were not killed.
News of possible civilian casualties enraged locals. They staged a demonstration and tried to enter the district governor's compound. Police confronting the protesters shot and killed two civilians, Arsala said.
Civilian deaths during military operations in Afghanistan have undermined the coalition's efforts to gain support among the Afghan people. The United States and other coalition countries have been working to avoid such casualties.